In today's world, who hasn't Heard of Evyap? With brands like Arko and Duru, Evyap has not only become infamous in Turkey, but also gained a big following abroad. We had a chat with Oğuzhan Aslan about the company's success and his plans for the coming years.
Oğuzhan Aslan - 90 Years and Progressing
Do you think personal care needs and preferences change over time?As it is the case in many other industries basic needs never change but new ones emerge as people place more and more importance on their personal care, which in fact, have an impact on two essential areas: First of all, new versions of existing products with renewed functional benefits come onto the market and in addition, new sub-categories and products that complement the main product and the consumers’ daily selfcare routines begin to emerge. As a result, consumers find the opportunity to improve their daily self-care routines.
What are Evyap’s most successful products abroad?We export to more than 100 countries around the world every year. Duru, Fax, Arko Men and Evy Baby are among the most preferred brands in a significantly large market made up of countries like Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, Egypt and Iran in our region. In 2017 we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of our Arko brand and the 50th anniversary of Duru, which is the leading brand in personal hygiene market today. Arko Men leads the pre-shave and after shave products market and in 2016 the brand has been honored as a “Lovemark”, being the most popular shaving products brand among Turkish men. Activex and Fax are among the leading brands of liquid soap market while Evy Baby, Emotion, Blade, Privacy, First Class and Bellissima enjoy strong positions in the countries and categories they compete in.
One could imagine Evyap has a strong R&D installation. Which technological innovations shape your products?Turkey’s first licensed R&D center in cosmetics industry was established by Evyap. We have three fully equipped laboratories for the Research and Development of Cosmetic Products, Packaging and Hygiene Products, where a team of highly educated and experienced experts work. In the meantime we continue to improve our facilities in line with the new methods and additional equipment needs that come about as a result of our R&D efforts. Our R&D Center laboratories perform performance tests, develop formulas and evaluate raw materials in accordance with the scopes and needs of different projects. Moreover, in order to be able to meet the needs of customers we conduct regular consumer tests and keep tabs on the alternative formulas, essences and packaging trends in the market. We also pay attention to sectoral publications, updated data bases and our close suppliers, as well as other companies in the industry, academic institutions and local and international collaborations so that we can carry out our activities in the most efficient way. We also consult with expert academics and make use of the equipment and sources of universities we collaborate with.
"Our target for 2017 is to grow our business both in the domestic market and our main markets abroad"
In terms of shaving and after shave care products for men, Arko continues to be one of the most popular brands in the market. What is the secret behind this consumer loyalty?Arko is a well-established brand that has been a part of our customers’ daily lives since 1957. It is a very familiar brand that almost everybody remembers from their childhood. This long-standing relationship is an important factor in Arko’s place in the hearts. Our consumers find Arko Men very familiar, sincere and honest, they see it as a part of their lives. At the same time the brand has a self-confident and impressive perception. Along with having a deeply rooted history Arko Men manages to keep itself and its product range up to date and dynamic by closely following upcoming trends. While keeping tabs on the technology and innovations to present the customer with the best products, the brand manages to communicate this in a simple, honest and understated manner. Being in constant communication with Turkish men and trying to reach them through various channels is important to us; we keep track of their areas of interest and orientations to come up with new and efficient ideas and to make use of various communication hannels.
What makes Evyap successful?The three golden rules we inherited from the founder of our company Mehmed Rıfat Evyap have been our guide to success. We can put these rules into words as follows: The first one is the belief that our consumers’ loyalty and trust is in fact the most precious reward we get in return for producing high quality products. The second one is to produce best products and turn our profits into investment in order to maintain that trust and loyalty. And the third one is to put quality above everything else and therefore to find and make use of the latest technologies no matter what and produce the best quality products with affordable prices.
When did Evyapport Port Facility begin functioning?Evyapport began container operations in 2007. It provides quality and trusted services at the heart of Turkey’s industry. With a total area of 265 square kilometers, 1171 meters long dock area and 16 meters water depth, it is the fourth largest import-export port in Turkey. Thanks to a direct link to Istanbul-Ankara main railway line, Evyapport offers safe, eco-friendly and cost-efficient ‘intermodal’ transport alternatives to our customers. Evyapport is also the closest container port to the capital city Ankara with the transportation advantage it provides to the inner regions of Turkey.
Evyap is also keen on carrying out social responsibility projects. Can you tell us about them?Evyap has set itself the goal of producing accessible products that make people happy and has been successful in implementing this understanding to all of its operational processes in the past 90 years. In line with our vision of “presenting the best personal-care products with affordable prices to contribute to the happiness of the people” Evyap develops or takes part in many social responsibility, sponsorship, support and humanitarian projects in addition to our business operations. The Süleymaniye Manuscript Library Digital Conversion Project is a good example for our support projects. Evyap supported the conversion of all the library’s manuscript archive into digital environment in order to truly protect them and prevent them from any damages that may naturally occur during research studies or by bacteria infection. A total of 120 thousand books including 80 thousand manuscripts were scanned in three years.
What are the new projects an innovations can we expect from Evyap in the next 5 years?Our target for 2017 is to grow our business healthily both in the domestic market and our main markets abroad. In order to achieve and maintain that goal we believe we should increase our market share and constantly improve our brand value in the eyes of our consumers. In other words, while accomplishing our current targets we also aim to take solid steps for the future in 2017. Evyap’s vision is to present the best personal-care products with affordable prices to contribute to the happiness of the people. Within the framework of this vision, in the coming five years we will be focusing on strengthening Evyap’s competitive position with international brands and maintain and improve Evyap’s leadership in the Turkish market.
How is your relationship with technology personally?Technology has become an essential part of our business and private lives. I try to make use of technology’s blessings without becoming too much hooked on to it. Technology makes my life easier, helps me complete a task within minutes which would otherwise take hours, lets me video chat with my colleagues in Russia or Malaysia but I use technology only when and as much as needed. However I would like to add that if I have the time and the means I always prefer face-to-face communication.
In which countries and sales points can we see Evyap products?Evyap exports to more than 100 countries in a wide range of product categories from shower gels to soap varieties, from shampoos to shaving products, from skincare creams to fragrant cosmetics, diapers or toothpaste. Our Duru, Fax and Arko brands enjoy the top two position in many markets including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Poland, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan, Albania and Moldova. As for pre-shave products category Arko has an active position in a significantly large region spanning from Russia, Ukraine and Central Asisa to the Middle East. In Ukraine, our Sanino brand leads the toothpaste market.
Could you draw us your favorite route to have a good time in İstanbul?Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The crown jewel of that beauty is of course the Bosphorus. Since I got my degree from the Bosphorus University, I feel especially happy when I am around Rumelihisarı and Bebek. In fact it is very easy to enjoy İstanbul’s beauties. The magnificent landscape you see as you cross the Bosphorus bridge on a regular day is mesmerizing enough.